Customer: Shell, Netherlands / USA / UK / Kazakhstan


In 2010 a research program was launched by our customer, to develop a robot that can operate in hazardous environments, whilst the operators control it from safe control rooms. The robot was designed to find out what is going on by using eyes (normal camera’s and a thermal camera), ears (microphone), smell (gas sensors) and touch (vibration sensor). All sensors are mounted on a servo driven arm.

The customer requested ImProvia’s support in 2015, to review the design and support in the certification process for IECEx, which enables the robot to operate in potentially explosive environments.


First, the engineers of ImProvia conducted extensive research on the IECEx-certification standards and thought about how to design new components to smoothly meet those criteria. Demonstrating the ImProvia capability, the customer’s trust grew and the assignment became more extensive and included a re-design, procurement and assembly of many components (camera units, light units, sensor units, housings and other mechanical & electrical additions), commissioning and testing all components of the robot.


The result of the project was the realization of the Sensabot Mark II, the first IECEx Zone 1 certified resident robot in the world. It is equipped with a range of sensors and cameras that use a wireless network to communicate with a driver/operator located in a safe control room. Sensabot is now commissioned in Kazakhstan and is in the operator training phase prior to deployment at the Kashagan field.

The system is fully integrated and contains the following components:

  • IECEx Zone 1 certified operations surveillance robot
  • Robot-docking station
  • 4G network infrastructure
  • Smart control chair for safe remote operation
  • Quick Deployment Container (QDC) for safe transport

The project was turned into a success by having great mutual trust between ImProvia and Shell and enabled ImProvia to further discover high-end technologies like robotics.

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